Pumpkin season is just starting, and today I came back from the farmers’ market with a huge, miffed orange fellow that will easily find its delicious place into my soups and curries. I really wanted to give this guy a new interpretation this fall, so I decided to pair it with chocolate and toasted pecan nuts and turn it into a fudgy delight.
Making vegan fudge is such an easy thing to do—you only need a few ingredients to mix and refrigerate. Simple as that! I seldom use sugar in my sweets. I like to profit from the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables, and pumpkin is the best candidate.
Its mild flavor and sweetness makes it the perfect ingredient to add to pancakes, brownies, or fudges, and its polysaccharides content actually improves blood sugar and regulates insulin production within our bodies.
I see the pumpkin season as a gift from nature. As fall advances, the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season disappear one by one, and our bodies rely on just a few foods to get fresh nutrients from. Pumpkin is a great source of carotenoid phytonutrients, alkalizing minerals, and fiber, making it an exceptional vegetable to consume for supplying the nutrients our bodies need to handle the stress of the cold season.
Its manganese, curcubitacins glycosides, and omega-3 fatty acids provide antioxidant support and anti-inflammatory protection to our cells, while its fiber improves digestion and cleanses the body of toxins, old estrogen, and cholesterol. The hard skin of pumpkins and winter squashes preserves these nutrients, making them available for our bodies even after keeping them longer in our pantry.
- For the Pumpkin Fudge
- ½ medium pumpkin, cut into slices
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- ½ cup almond butter
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- For the Base
- 1 cup toasted pecans
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 cup dried pitted dates, soaked into purified water for at least 1 hr
- For the Chocolate Layer
- 2 vegan chocolate bars, melted
- Preheat the oven to 175°C/347°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, add the pumpkin slices, powder with the spice, add a drizzle coconut oil and toss to coat evenly.
- Roast for 20 mins, until tender, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- While the pumpkin is roasting, prepare the base layer.
- Drain the pitted dates and add them into the food processor, together with the coconut oil and cacao powder, and pulse to obtain a puree.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to incorporate.
- Line a square pan with parchment paper and spread the base onto a ½ inch layer.
- Scoop the pumpkin flesh with a spoon, and add it into the food processor.
- Add the almond butter, the coconut oil, the almond butter and coconut milk, and pulse to obtain a puree.
- Spread over the nutty base, then top with the melted chocolate sauce.
- Refrigerate until firm, or freeze for a quick result.